Firefighters’ Christmas cheer for children’s ward

PRESENTS FOR all: Fire crews from Blue Watch, Sunderland Central Community Fire Station, and staff from Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service played Santa to the children's wards at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Wednesday.
PRESENTS FOR all: Fire crews from Blue Watch, Sunderland Central Community Fire Station, and staff from Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service played Santa to the children's wards at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Wednesday.
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POORLY youngsters received some much-needed Christmas cheer when firefighters turned Father Christmas.

Crews from Sunderland Central Community Fire Station’s Blue Watch, visited Sunderland Royal Hospital yesterday to dish out presents on the Children’s Ward.

Watch Manager Garry Teasdale, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “It was great to see the children at the hospital today. Their faces lit up when we entered the ward and gave them a cuddly toy and a present each.

“My daughter was actually on ward 64 10 years ago when she hurt her back and firefighters came to visit her then, so I can appreciate how special these visits are from both sides.

“Parents, children and staff were over the moon we came along and it absolutely made our day to have the opportunity cheer up some of our poorly children at Christmas time.”

Meanwhile, Northumbria Police’s Charities Fund helped bring festive joy after handing over shopping vouchers to support a homeless unit in Sunderland.

Ashkirk Homeless Unit, which is run by Bernicia Group Limited, applied for support from the Charities Fund to help buy presents for its residents and was granted £150 worth of Asda vouchers.

The Northumbria Police Charities Fund helps individuals, organisations and good causes throughout the Northumbria Police area.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Ash Hopper said: “We’re delighted Ashkirk Homeless Unit applied for support through the Charities Fund to help bring some festive joy to its residents.

“A donation such as this is a welcome addition for families who may be having a particularly difficult time at the moment and we hope this goes some way to help.”

Gemma Alderson, team leader Ashkirk Homeless Unit for Bernicia, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Northumbria Police for this very kind donation, therefore, on behalf of the parents and children at Ashkirk I’d like to thank the Charities Fund so much for their continued support.”